La Rotisserie

Back to Paris on my own, but this time it was a warm night

I spent 3 days at the World Gas Conference last week working with clients. Professionally it was a good few days, doing what we at Ketchum do as well as anyone: helping our clients be better understood across a range of audiences.

This blog however isn’t going to be a professional matters. This is a restaurant review

The place I went to is a Paris institution. Part of Tour D’Argent, the place couldn’t be more French if it tried. Brusque, if not unfriendly staff, very traditional food and drink, in and out within 90 mins.

I’d had a few to decompress after the conference so I decided to skip the suggested coup de champagne as an aperitif and get stuck into the food ASAP. As often happens when you’re a PR at a conference I hadn’t eaten all day and was very hungry.

I looked at the menus, hummed and harred and ordered what I’d been dreaming about all day. Fois gras terrine, confit de canard, with a nice bottle of gigondas to wash it down with.

I wasn’t disappointed. The terrine was smooth, with a few nuts thrown in for texture. Big butch, slightly sweet fois gras flavour. Mouth filling and coating in a good way, the gigondas, slightly chilled due to the heat of the evening outside was a great companion.

On my own I avoided total levels of pretension and read the sports pages of the Guardian, and a thriller on my iPad, eschewing the temptation for either something in French or more intellectual. The food and restaurant, whilst not cheap wasn’t a place for posing. It was a place to enjoy incredible ingredients cooked with great technique and simplicity.

The duck was great. Crisp on the outside, melting in the middle. Outrageously good spuds. Again, and not surprisingly given where it’s from, the wine made a great companion. The natural black fruit flavours being a good pair with duck, with a bit of acidity cutting the fat, and a nice smoky richness bringing it all together. Top stuff.

A good espresso (not as common in Paris as one might hope) combined with a lovely fruity and soft Chateau du Breuil calva rounded off a thoroughly civilised dinner for one on a warm Paris evening.

A slow walk back down the Seine via Notre Damme completed what was a lovely evening.

It’s nights like this that make me realise how very lucky I have been. Of course I have worked hard to develop my career, but what if I’d turned left instead of right somewhere along the road? What if Kirsty wasn’t as understanding of the demands of the job?

Something I’ve found over the past few years is that we discount luck at our peril. I’ve been occasionally lucky in my life and career, and I was both lucky and privileged to enjoy a meal like I did in a warm Parisian evening last week.